Winter has been harsh in Northeast Ohio and elsewhere across the United States. Relentless snow and freezing temperatures held on throughout March. That icy grip is giving way to warmer more pleasant days. This is a good wake-up call to get outdoors and be more active.

I have set an ambitious goal of completing my first half marathon in 2014. I enjoy running and typically complete a half dozen 5Ks a year. Running has always taken a back seat to cycling, my true love in life. I am up for giving running some respect it deserves in my life this year. I am splitting my recreational hours between the two sports.

Running does not come as natural to me as does cycling. I find it difficult and challenging. I do not have a slim tall runner’s physique and my age and inexperience in running puts me at a definite disadvantage.  It is because of this disadvantage that I am motivated even more to meet my half marathon goal. It is just as much a mental challenge as it is a physical challenge. I am determined to overcome both of them.

My half marathon training began a few weeks back. I have been running a couple times a week at a casual pace. My goal is to up the distance and build up my endurance over time. By May, I hope to settle into a routine of running 3 times a week and increasing the distance as the months pass by. My half marathon takes place at the end of September. I plan on being in my best running form (whatever that will be) at that time.

I have spent my life since weight loss surgery challenging myself. I have wasted too many years being sedentary and not taking full advantage of the life I have been given. It is often said that you cannot grow if you stay in your comfort zone. Living on the edge of and outside the confines of your comfort zone is what living life to the fullest is all about.

I always encourage the members of my weight loss support group to be more physically active. I have seen too many bariatric post-ops rely solely on their surgery to remain thin and healthy. Bariatric surgery is only a tool to reduce a person’s weight to a healthier level. It is the patient’s responsibility to work in conjunction with the surgery to stay healthy. Being active is a great tool we each control to be a healthier person.

I challenge my readers to get out and get fit in the coming months. It is never too late to get started. As part of my advocacy to my weight loss support group, I organized Movin’ Mondays. This is a weekly walk or run on a local trail for people of all abilities. The goal is to get people comfortable with being active. Walking, hiking or running in a group makes exercise so much more enjoyable. The social aspect of recreation is the perfect support mechanism as well.  You can read more about Movin’ Mondays here.

Have a happy and active spring!

Tom

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